Saturday, October 1, 2016

Love For Our Countrymen

My wife and I had a little date night recently and as I contemplated the folks that we saw during our time out, an interesting thought came to my mind. I was reminded of Paul’s heartfelt cry in Romans 9:1-5: “I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”
Obviously, America is not Israel and those who are of the mind that it is or that there is such a thing as “a Christian nation” are misunderstanding what the Bible has to say on the subject. But the reality is that no nation in the history of the world, aside from Israel, has been given more light than America. Although God did not entrust the oracles of the New Covenant solely to this nation, he certainly gave America a tremendous amount of knowledge concerning the gospel and its tenets. Although there’s certainly much controversy as to who among the Fathers of our Country were Christians and who were not, the nation itself was founded on Christian principles. The Puritans came to this country to escape the persecution they had been subjected to for their religious beliefs. Thus, America has been, from its inception, steeped in Christian principles and morality.

And yet, our nation today finds itself in a sinful morass the likes of which have seldom been seen before. In the name of tolerance and “love,” our country has defined morality down to the point where sexual immorality of every kind—fornication, homosexuality, transgenderism—is looked upon as wholesome and proper. You will be hard pressed to find a couple who marries who did not first cohabitate. From the very top, our leadership goes out of its way to redefine what morals are all about so as to include all the above sinful behaviors and more. The two presidential candidates are notorious for their support of immoral behaviors going so far, in one case, as to make one particularly heinous activity, practically unrestricted abortion, part of her platform. The other is not much better, boasting about the women he has had and the fact that he has been married three times. From coast to coast we see how corporations are kowtowing to the homosexual agenda and making their bathrooms “coed.” Truly, as my mother often says, such attitudes make God weep.

It is hard to see clearly through the haze of immorality and sin that permeates our world. Every time we turn around there a shooting or some other mass violent episode carried out in the name of religion. In the name of God perversions and violence of all kinds are perpetrated. Those who understand what the Bible teaches are left dumbfounded at how anyone claiming its message can have the attitudes and engage in the behaviors that they do. Our society is no longer seeking to know what God wants and then going about trying to do it, but they are increasingly telling God what he is supposed to want and approve. No longer can the church denounce sin, since sin has become some amorphous thing that no one seems to understand any longer. Sins are no longer committed. Rather, “mistakes are made” by no one in particular and no one in particular is held accountable for the “mistakes.”

And where does the church stand in all this? I’m afraid that it is hiding behind the bulrushes. Or worse, it increasingly seeks to accommodate such behaviors and attitudes. If you want a Jesus that is a sports jock, then the “church” can give you that Jesus. If the Jesus you feel comfortable with likes to party and have a “good time,” then you can have that Jesus too. Any Jesus you want the church can provide. The church is no longer the “pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15), but rather it is becoming whatever the world wants it to be in order to attract them to its ranks. The church is more and more becoming a corporation and like a corporation its primary mission has shifted from the winning of souls for the kingdom of God to supporting itself as it becomes bigger and bigger and its programs become more expansive and unwieldy.

It is essential for true believers to understand that we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13-15). If our light is placed under a bushel and our salt loses its savor, then who will provide the guidance that the world needs? We can’t hide and seek to blend in, going with the flow of wherever society leads us. We need to stand and boldly proclaim the truth that judgement is coming and that the only way out is Jesus and his cross. Although there is great controversy as to whether the “rapture of the church” is in fact a prophesied event in the New Testament, the reality is that the image of a churchless world is one that is too horrible to contemplate. With the church being the only body on earth where the Holy Spirit dwells, if the church were to be removed from the scene, imagine the terrible devastating that would ensure. All the more reason for the church to live up to its mission!

In a postmodernist world where anything is as good as anything else, that is not a popular message and it is one that will lead us to be ostracized more and more. But the early Christians suffered such ostracizing and even death to bring the light of the gospel to the corrupt world they lived in. If we hope to receive the crown of life, then we need to follow in their footsteps.









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